This fall 2017 semester marks the start of a brand-new shuttle system that will run between the Bronx and Dobbs Ferry campuses.
There already is a shuttle system from the Ardsley-on-Hudson Metro North station to the Dobbs Ferry campus, as well as the shuttle from Westchester Square to the Hutchinson Metro Center where the Bronx campus is located.
The primary method of transportation to and from the Dobbs Ferry campus and the Bronx for most students has been the Metro North Hudson line, along with an extra bus or subway ride.
For a college student with limited means, it can be very costly and time consuming, especially if one has classes every single day of the week, or a class at more than one campus. This free shuttle system is first come, first serve and has a set schedule for each campus. This will now save a lot of time and money for many commuter students.
Initially, Mercy didn’t believe it was needed, but after analyzing the number of students who travel between the two campuses, the Bronx/Dobbs Ferry shuttle emerged. Although students requested student discounts for the Metro North, it couldn’t provide that option for Mercy. This new shuttle is an alternative travel option.
Director of Transportation Yara Benjamin told The Impact that the college “wanted to make all campuses cohesive.”
At the moment, there is only one 15 passenger shuttle being used. Students can take full advantage of the shuttle by presenting a Mercy student ID card. Passengers must also sign a paper with their name, the time and campus of pickup, and whether they are students or faculty.
Since they are testing this shuttle system out for at least one year, the list is going to help the college decide how successful this project has been and possibly renew it next year.
The scheduled times for the shuttle at each campus vary with traffic conditions. The trip between the two campuses takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
The waiting area for Dobbs Ferry is in front of Main Hall, has a sign that distringuishes each shuttle bus with coordinating colors. Students can easily decipher the label of the shuttle they need to take. The Bronx/Dobbs Ferry shuttle will have the color red next to it.
All shuttle buses will have a patent label on the front of the bus so there is no confusion about which shuttle bus students will be riding. This will be especially helpful for the students from the Bronx Campus, since the college doesn’t have the rights to any outdoor signage on the Bronx Campus property.
Students can also download the SMARTTRAXX app to see the exact location of the shuttle bus. This can be extremely helpful in the case where the shuttle is stuck in traffic and is a little past the set time of arrival. Or if it arrives early, students can go ahead and catch their seat on the bus before it gets full.
Student Brandon Bennett says, “The shuttle has been very convenient and saves me a lot of time, since it would usually take me about two hours from where I live in the Bronx to get to Dobbs Ferry.”
Bennett is a dedicated shuttle rider since he has ridden the new shuttle more than five times. He hasn’t had any issues with the shuttles being overly late and always has a pleasant riding experience.
The college also has group of faculty who meet every three weeks to discuss any issues or improvements regarding, traffic, parking and shuttle buses. The Parking Task Force includes guests such as the President, Student Senator, Resident Life Deans, and others. The goal is to ensure all students are happy with various services the college provides.
The schedule is as follows:
Dobbs Ferry , Monday through Friday, Main Hall bus stop: 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 :30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
Bronx, Monday through Friday, Main Entrance: 7:45 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:35 p.m.